Rio Tinto forms Peru copper joint venture

The Berenguela copper silver project is an advanced stage exploration project in the Puno Department of southern Peru. Image: Valor Resources

Valor Resources has established a joint venture with Rio Tinto subsidiary Kennecott Exploration Company at its Berenguela copper-silver-manganese project in south-eastern Peru.

The Berenguela project boasts a measured, indicated and inferred JORC resource of 45.9 million tonnes at 0.77 per cent copper, 86 grams per tonne silver, 0.28 per cent zinc and 5.1 per cent manganese.

Its current resources only occupy 2.1 per cent of Berenguela’s total 6594 hectares land package, showing significant potential for resource expansion.

Kennecott will pay Valor Resources $US700,000 ($970,560) before February this year, and will spend $US2 million on Berenguela’s exploration over the next 12 months.

During this time, Kennecott will be solely responsible for the design and implementation of the exploration program.

As part of the Rio Tinto group, Kennecott has access to a depth of exploration and mine development personnel, as well as the required levels of capital for the project going forward.

Kennecott can opt for a 50:50 joint venture with Valor Resources by submitting an additional payment of $US3 million. It can also increase its stake in Berenguela by 25 per cent by spending an additional $US5 million within three years.

“This is a very exciting time for Valor Resources and the undeveloped Berenguela copper-silver project,” Valor Resources director Nicholas Lindsay said.

“We welcome Kennecott’s involvement in the project’s development going forward and we are encouraged about the exciting near and longer term prospects for Valor Resources’ shareholders.”

Valor has completed over 9100 meters of infill and expansion drilling at Berenguela. A rigorous metallurgical testwork program is also under way.

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